In a fascinating way, this season of Workaholics has been surprisingly introspective, as our three leads have taken a deeper look at their relationships, their motivations and even their futures. After five seasons, Adam, Blake and Anders are finally growing up, slowly but surely. With “Peyote It Forward,” maybe the largest step in this process so far, all three guys take a good hard look in the mirror to not only face the choices they’ve made and the futures that their current paths could potentially take them on, but also try just to not look like irresponsible idiots for one day.
But of course their attempt at maturity begins with an act of ridiculous childishness. After a rooftop discussion about how their childhood imaginations were ridiculousness, Adam Bill Cosbys himself, Blake and Ders by buying them all smoothies with a dose of peyote inside. Not only are they going to be tripping at work, but they’ve also been tasked with babysitting a new client’s son. While Alice is trying to close the strange deal of getting Mr. Gainey to buy a bunch of unsold mirrors, Adam, Ders and Blake must keep an eye on his young son Josh (or Jash), all while trying to keep their own sanity.
While tripping, each of the three are given glimpses of their own hopes and aspirations, exaggerated in a drug-fueled haze of course. Anders sees himself as a gigantic bird flying free from responsibilities and without a cage, until Josh’s zookeeper traps him in. Blake sees himself as a much older version of himself, still getting high and watching Drawn Together, but now he’s divorced from Jillian after he caught Bill chorging her (contrary to Blake’s advice, don’t Google it). Adam comes face-to-face with the different versions of himself he believes he could’ve been, from a dirty cop to a pizza delivery porn star to a New Orleans trombone player.
For the first time in the series, the Workaholics guys are forced to reckon with who they are and they don’t necessarily like it. Ders has shown over and over that he doesn’t want to be free, even if his friends push him in that direction, but that he does want to be successful, and without having to scam his way to success. While Blake does love his weed smoking, cartoon-watching existence now, a glimpse of his future where he hasn’t evolved at all makes him sadder than he usually would’ve thought. Adam meanwhile sees all of his forgotten dreams and realizes that none of these are truly him, and to be honest, thank god since they’re all complete creeps and weirdos.
But “Peyote It Forward” does all this while also being incredibly funny and one of the more visually striking episodes of the series. Their trip down the hallway on peyote is shot beautifully and every moment in the episode where we see what they see and then what is really happening is absolutely hilarious.
By the episode’s end, the three destroy the mirrors that show their horrifying reflections, which just so happen to be the ones that Alice was planning on selling. Usually this would be the part where they get reprimanded for their foolishness, but here it all works out. For the first time that I can remember, these three do something for the betterment of the company rather than for themselves. They have the choice to not be irresponsible idiots and even though their actions still might make them seem like irresponsible idiots, the fact that they tried to avoid that moniker is true growth.
It’s like Joe Rogan says: “We’re just talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” yet these three monkeys are coming to a shocking level in their evolution. If, after last season, you would’ve told me there would be an episode where Adam actively denounces his porn star dreams or Blake doesn’t want to be an older version of himself that smokes gigantic blunts in his office, I wouldn’t have believed you. But finally these three guys have grown into characters that feel different than they did last season, more mature, or at least trying to fake it until they make it. Future President Joe Rogan would be proud of the guys.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.